Of course, there was no way around it. I was going to have to read The Book. Not just because I am one of those hopeless voyeurs of pop culture - - long after I've popped, and despite being an outspoken literary…well…snob. And not just because I AM sort of a vampire myself, feeding on the lives and experiences of others to bring energy to my work. (Hopefully, the victims feel no pain.) I was going to read The Book because it was about young women and desir[...]
Motherhood, like all good dwellings, comes with a basement, by which I mean a place to store the boxes of things which make us sad (or scared) to look at, or which simply crowd the main floor. We don't unpack them, for the most part. Instead we appear generally preoccupied, until we remember not to, like when our son says, "Look! I drew you smiling!" as if this were a terrific artistic leap on his part. What's in my boxes?
Back in the day, before we were virtual, we used to keep postcards and letters in shoeboxes. The girls would write on stationery, cool yellow sheets about the size of a paperback. Sometimes cute white dots would frame the page, matching in a profound way the very round, bubbly handwriting of the girls whose notes you copied. The boys scribbled and drew cartoons right in the middle of sentences. They were Vonnegut-style letters, before any of us had ever read Vonnegut, disjointed and scrawled and somehow fitting together into a personality, if not a coherent series of thoughts.
I have a serious coffee habit, and, as a consequence, a favorite mug is a serious matter for me. It becomes my companion for the workday, sitting alongside my cell phone, my water bottle, and my day planner, the objects which form the court in service of my reigning laptop. I refill early, and refill often. My mug gives me a reason to walk around a little. It needs frequent attention.
The emptiness of being full, when hunger is the only good muse I’ve had in years. (Remember the joy of jagged yearning?) I watch fulfillment share its lazy bed with sleep - - warm with babies and stability, stuffed with calories, consistency and compromise.